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Becoming Temporally Self-Reliant

Elder Dyches
Elder Timothy J Dyches, United States Second Counselor Europe Area Presidency

In the springtime of the year, we are privileged to celebrate Easter, where, in the northern hemisphere, the frosty hand of Winter has waned and the warmth of Spring is in the air.  It is a time of rebirth and new beginnings for life all around.  

We invite you once again to become spiritually and temporally self-reliant.  Spiritual and temporal self-reliance are mutually inclusive in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 “Self-reliance is the ability, commitment, and effort to provide the spiritual and temporal necessities of life for self and family. As members become self-reliant, they are also better able to serve and care for others.

“Church members are responsible for their own spiritual and temporal well-being. Blessed with the gift of agency, they have the privilege and duty to set their own course, solve their own problems, and strive to become self-reliant. Members do this under the inspiration of the Lord and with the labor of their own hands.”1

How can I become temporally self-reliant?

  • Learn the value and blessing of work

“Let us realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that power to work is a blessing, that love of work is success.”2

The value of work in our lives is vital in learning the lessons that will bring lasting happiness and growth.    I grew up in a large family that was reared upon the principle of work.  From preparing and tilling the ground for planting, to the planting of seeds themselves, daily watering and weeding throughout the growing season, harvesting and then storage through canning or freezing.  And that was just in the summer. 

My parents were always there encouraging, faithful, teaching and working alongside.  They would never ask us to do something they themselves would not do.  The blessings of work in the family included the thrill of the creative effort and “a job well done”, acquiring useful skillsets for then and the future, providing service to others, understanding job expectations and performance, and learning self-discipline.

  • Benefit from educational opportunities

In the year before kindergarten, we were expected to learn to tie our shoes, to tell time on a round clock face, to memorize our address and telephone number and to practice walking to school.  Throughout the school years, we were urged to always give our best in school and our parents always held us to our potential.  We are always learning.

  • Faith precedes the miracle

“The Lord does help when we go to Him in times of need, especially when we are committed to His work and respond to His will. But the Lord only helps those who are willing to help themselves. He expects His children to be self-reliant to the degree they can be. “3    

A recent graduate from the self-reliance course relates her own journey of faith and action:

I began putting to practice everything I learned, including using my time wisely.  Now I feel that I am important as an individual and able to do things I would have never imagined in the past. 

I began putting to practice everything I learned, including using my time wisely.  Now I feel that I am important as an individual and able to do things I would have never imagined in the past. 

“Every day I read the scriptures and I pray with all my heart – I know that I am important to my Heavenly Father.  Things began to happen to me that I would have never imagined.  It was incredible.  It’s as if someone was guiding my steps in my job search. I didn’t experience problems with the language.

“Every day I read the scriptures and I pray with all my heart – I know that I am important to my Heavenly Father.  Things began to happen to me that I would have never imagined.  It was incredible.  It’s as if someone was guiding my steps in my job search. I didn’t experience problems with the language.

“When I presented myself to a woman looking for child care for her daughter, as soon as I walked through the door the little girl hugged and kissed me.  She stayed by my side during the whole interview and for this reason I got the job.  Her husband is now helping us find work for my son.

“When I presented myself to a woman looking for child care for her daughter, as soon as I walked through the door the little girl hugged and kissed me.  She stayed by my side during the whole interview and for this reason I got the job.  Her husband is now helping us find work for my son.

“Since then another person has offered us work.  A sister in the church helped me find an apartment to live.  For the first time in my life I am doing things never before possible for me. ” 4

“Since then another person has offered us work.  A sister in the church helped me find an apartment to live.  For the first time in my life I am doing things never before possible for me. ”

As we develop temporal self-reliance, we maintain good health with regular exercise, a nutritious diet and good personal hygiene.  We live within our means and save our resources, while avoiding debt.  The self-reliant will fast and joyfully donate a generous fast offering.

The pathway to perfection requires living the Gospel each and every day.  Striving to become temporally self-reliant then employs all the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I pray that during the coming months and years we all may so do.


Pathways to Happiness